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Alcohol use among high school students

Alcohol use among high school students is a major problem that affects student performance, endangers lives, and leads to health problems later in life. Alcohol consumption can diminish the ability of the student to pay attention and so to learn, and this should have an effect on graduation rates showing a direct correlation between alcohol consumption and failure to graduate. In fact, a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research (1994) has estimated that students who drink beer, and other alcoholic beverages, or use marijuana are statistically less likely to graduate from high school than abstainers.

Drug abuse has received more attention that alcohol abuse in recent years, ignoring the fact that alcohol is itself a drug and that its use exceeds that of more exotic substances. One of the reasons for this is that alcohol is legal--not for young people, but legal just the same--while harder drugs are not. Both hard drugs and alcohol have an effect on learning, altering the outlook of the individual and causing him or her to perform at a lower level than would otherwise be the case. One of the symptoms of use is a change in the ability of the individual to maintain attention and to learn. Attempts at intervention have to come early in the student's career in order to improve graduation rates.

In an era of concern over drug abuse, an era in which this concern is directed most often at so-called "hard" drugs such as cocaine and crack, alcohol remains the most consumed drug among adolescents and a major health problem for this population (Lewis, 1992, 64). The problem is severe: Marks (1989) cites evidence showing that the use of alcohol can be seen as part of an adolescent tendency toward risk-taking behavior, including such behavior as cigarette smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, and reckless driving or other dare-devil exploits, all of which constitute the most common causes of death during adolescence, whethe...

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Alcohol use among high school students. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:32, September 20, 2020, from